Founded by Ou Virak in late 2015, Future Forum is an independent think tank generating new thinking for a new Cambodia. Future Forum’s vision is of a just, democratic, dynamic and prosperous Cambodia shaped by the needs of its people rather than its rulers. To make that vision a reality, our mission is to nurture a community of young thinkers, develop positive policy solutions and engender critical debate, molding the future of Cambodia – “Public. Policy. Forward.” Our core values are: Nurture, Create and Debate.
We are an evidence-based think tank that focuses on research, analysis and public policy-representing a dynamic response to an identified “policy gap” in Cambodia. We seek to stimulate a new type of thinking to enable Cambodian society to make better decisions and to achieve better outcomes, with young people coming to the forefront of such types of contributions.
By adopting a measured, analytical and considered approach, we conduct rigorous, in-depth research that involves all stakeholders in finding concrete, creative and principled solutions to Cambodian policy issues. Future Forum’s objective is thus to encourage intellectual research and analysis, to positively influence the policy narrative in Cambodia at a local, national and international levels, employing evidence-based policy debate, analysis and recommendations to inspire Cambodian people – especially youth – to achieve democratic, political and socio-economic change that will benefit all people of Cambodia.
While there are various civil society actors in Cambodia engaged with a wide variety of issues,Future Forum takes a broader view and adopts a more measured, analytical and considered approach,that identifies underlying trends and employs rigorous research, and creative and principled policy recommendations to help shape Cambodia’s policy discourse.
Rather than simply identifying problems, Future Forum adopts a solution-oriented approach, and uses its research to equip key decision-makers with detailed, specific, constructive policy solutions to Cambodia’s issues. Future Forum remains closely connected to youth and grassroots civil society networks such that it can provide local communities with the benefit of policy, analysis and technical assistance.
While there are a handful of organizations which are engaged in research and policy work, Future Forum is different in that we are fully independent and therefore free to tackle difficult issues and able to formulate policy recommendations that are principled, critical yet positive, and in line with international human rights standards.
Community of Researchers
Future Forum is creating a community of researchers focused on public policy issues – a network through which researchers and analysts will not only conduct their own research and analysis but also engage in opportunities to network with other members, work in collaboration with other members and, when requested, engage in peer review and mentoring. The Community of Researchers consists of the following components: a) Policy Analysts provide on-demand advisory policy recommendations to public and private stakeholders; b) Research Fellows: a three-year research scholarship program; c) Young Research Fellows: a substantive training and coachining for young research fellows; d) Research Hub: an open co-working space designed for the Community of Researchers; e) The Future Forum Library; f) Affliated Researchers; g) Affliated Research Advisers; and g) Future Forum Alumni.
"The Cambodia Want" Policy Forum
This forum is closely linked to Future Forum’s other programmatic areas – namely, Community of Researchers, and the Civic Education components – and provides a substantive policy forum to support those programs and activities where the Forum community is able to present and to discuss their respective research programs. All of Future Forum’s outputs are grounded in the idea of the “The Cambodia We Want,” i.e. focusing on long term paths forward for Cambodia and in establishing a positive vision for Cambodia, rather than on reiterating the problems.
Through our Civic Education component, Future Forum is developing new and exciting ways to involve the Cambodian public in issues related to politics and policy in Cambodia. This will include developing videos aimed at a youth audience as well as introductory materials – e.g., civics textbooks – setting out the legal and institutional structure of Cambodian government.
You can find out more about each area of our work and the Future Forum team using the tabs above.